Thursday, June 19, 2008

Walking for the Lymph System

Lymph Vessel

I used to run for exercise until I had knee problems. I think walking has been better for me. Less problems with the joints, more time to reflect and appreciate the environment. I think it is the rhythm of walking that has a lot to do with its health benefits; as much as anything, this may have to do with its effect on the lymph system.

The lymph system is larger than the circulatory system, with which it is interlinked, but much less obvious and much less well known. Among other things, it drains fluids and toxins, fights infections, and is connected to all cells. It is the system that carries the cholesterol. Organs of the lymph system include the spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, tonsils, and appendix. It does not have a pump like the heart; it operates by one- way valves that are totally dependent on exercise and gravitational pressure to move. The lymph system normally circulates once in a twenty-four hour period; walking can increase the circulation by by two or three times.

Dr. Gerald Lemole, a cardiovascular surgeon, has come to see the lymph system as critical in cardiovascular health. His book, The Healing Diet, is a good source of information about the importance of the lymph system and how to enhance its functioning.

Track your Walks on Google
How the Lymphatic System works

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